Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS5303834 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/019,023
Publication dateApr 19, 1994
Filing dateFeb 18, 1993
Priority dateFeb 26, 1992
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS5178289, US5279433
Publication number019023, 08019023, US 5303834 A, US 5303834A, US-A-5303834, US5303834 A, US5303834A
InventorsSuppayan M. Krishnakumar, Wayne N. Collette, David P. Piccioli
Original AssigneeContinental Pet Technologies, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Squeezable container resistant to denting
US 5303834 A
Abstract
A squeezable container with a paneled side wall which resists permanent deformation or denting when squeezed, and which preferably can be hot-filled. The container can be made substantially thinner than known hot-fill containers and includes a stepped vacuum panel profile for greater flexibility and resilience (bounce back). A circumferential ring is provided in the side wall to prevent ovalizing. The post walls (surrounding the vacuum panels) are stiffened to prevent vacuum collapse, by providing a substantially perpendicular junction between the vacuum panel and post wall, sufficient post wall depth, and/or reinforcing ribs in the post walls.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(26)
What is claimed is:
1. A squeezable, dent resistant plastic container with panels, the container comprising:
a squeezable hollow plastic body having a resilient and substantially cylindrical side wall aligned along a vertical centerline, an open upper end for dispensing a product when the side wall is squeezed, and a closed bottom wall;
the side wall including a plurality of symmetrically arranged post walls disposed at a first distance D1 from the vertical centerline;
the side wall further including a plurality of symmetrically arranged panels disposed between the post walls, each panel having a vertically elongated recess surrounding a central panel wall, the recess having a lowermost flex point disposed a second distance D2 from the vertical centerline which is less than the first distance D1, and the central panel wall being disposed at a distance from the vertical centerline which is greater than the second distance D2 ; and the recess having a first connecting wall with at least one intermediate step between the lowermost flex point and central panel wall to increase the resistance of the squeezable side wall to permanent deformation.
2. The container of claim 1, wherein the container is a hot fill container and the panels are vacuum panels.
3. The container of claim 1, wherein the side wall further includes a radially recessed circumferential ring to increase the side wall resistance to ovalizing.
4. The container of claim 3, wherein the side wall includes a tapered shoulder above the panels, and the circumferential ring is disposed between the panels and shoulder.
5. The container of claim 1, wherein the container is a blow-molded biaxially-oriented thermoplastic container.
6. The container of claim 5, wherein the thermoplastic is polyester.
7. The container of claim 6, wherein the polyester is substantially polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
8. The container of claim 7, wherein the PET includes 0 to about 6% copolymer.
9. The container of claim 2, wherein the hot fill container is made from a plastic selected from the group consisting of polyester, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene napthalate, polycarbonate, polyacrylonitrile and copolymers and blends thereof.
10. The container of claim 1, wherein the side wall has an average wall thickness of about 0.015 to about 0.020 inches.
11. The container of claim 10, wherein the side wall has an average wall thickness of about 0.015 to about 0.017 inches and a diameter of up to about 4 inches.
12. The container of claim 11, wherein the side wall has a diameter of about 2.5 to about 3.5 inches.
13. The container of claim 1, wherein the panel has an average wall thickness of about 0.015 to about 0.020 inches.
14. The container of claim 13, wherein the panel has an average wall thickness of about 0.015 to about 0.017 inches.
15. The container of claim 1, wherein each post wall further includes a vertically-elongated post rib for stiffening the post wall.
16. The container of claim 1, wherein the recess includes a second connecting wall between the lowermost flex point and post wall, and the second connecting wall has a substantially perpendicular junction with the post wall in order to stiffen the post wall.
17. The container of claim 16, wherein the second connecting wall has a first step portion having a substantially perpendicular junction with the post wall, and a second step portion having a substantially perpendicular junction with the first step portion.
18. The container of claim 16, wherein the second connecting wall has a radial depth of from about 0.08 to about 0.16 inches.
19. The container of claim 1, wherein the first connecting wall includes a plurality of steps to provide additional flex points.
20. The container of claim 1, wherein the recess includes a second connecting wall with at least one step between the lowermost flex point and post wall.
21. The container of claim 1, wherein the lowermost flex point is an outwardly concave radius which enhances the flexibility and resilience of the panel wall.
22. The container of claim 3, wherein the circumferential ring has a radial depth d1 of about 0.10R1 to about 0.24R1 , where R1 is the distance from the vertical centerline to the side wall.
23. The container of claim 22, wherein the circumferential ring has an angular extent of about 45 to about 90.
24. The container of claim 23, wherein the circumferential ring has a lowermost recess of radius r1 of about 0.3d1 to about 0.7d1 and a connecting radius r2 with the side wall of at least about 0.3d1.
25. The container of claim 1, wherein each panel has a height H along the vertical centerline and a width W along the circumference of the side wall, and the ratio of H:W is at least about 2:1.
26. The container of claim 1, wherein each panel has an angular extent 2F of about 39 to about 48.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This application is a continuation in-part of commonly owned and copending U.S. Ser. No. 07/962,243 filed Oct. 16, 1992 entitled "PANEL DESIGN FOR A HOT FILLABLE CONTAINER" by Krishnakumar et al., which is a division of U.S. Ser. No. 07/842,228 filed Feb. 26, 1992, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,178,289 which issued Jan. 12, 1993.

The present invention relates to a squeezable container which exhibits "bounce back" to resist permanent deformation or denting, and in a preferred embodiment to a squeezable, dent resistant container which can withstand hot filling without substantial deformation.

Squeezable beverage containers are popular with bicycle riders and other athletes. These containers are typically made of polyethylene and may be squeezed between the fingers of one hand to dispense a liquid out a nozzle on the open top end of the container. However, the known polyethylene containers do not have the required thermal stability for receiving hot-fill (e.g., juice) products directly, and thus the squeezable container is typically sold separately from the beverage and the user then fills the container. It would be convenient if athletes and others could buy hot filled containers of juice as an "off-the shelf" item, which was both ready to-use and allowed repeated squeezable dispensing without permanent deformation.

Hot-fill containers are adapted for the packaging of liquids (e.g., juice, beer) and other food products (e.g., jam) which must be placed in the container while hot to provide for adequate sterilization. During filling, the container is subjected to elevated temperatures (i.e., the product temperature) and positive internal pressures (i.e., the filling line pressure). For example, a juice container may be exposed to a product temperature on the order of 180-185 F. (82-85 C.) and a filling line pressure on the order of 2-5 psi (30-75 atm). These temperatures and pressures may cause the container body to creep and/or shrink. An originally cylindrical container may "ovalize," i.e., increase in diameter in a nonuniform manner, especially in a tapered shoulder section between the neck finish and panel section. Containers with excessive shape distortion or ovalizing cause improper cap and label applications, and uneven or inadequate vacuum panel movement.

A biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage bottle designed to receive a hot fill product with a minimum of thermal shrinkage and distortion is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,863,046 entitled "Hot Fill Container," which issued Sep. 5, 1989 to Collette et al., and is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. The Collette et al. container was designed as a relatively large volume (32 or 64 ounces) beverage container. It has six symmetrically-disposed vacuum panels in the side wall of the container. The vacuum panels (all of them) deform and move radially inwardly in unison as the product cools in order to reduce the magnitude of the vacuum generated in the filled and capped container and to prevent any large uncontrolled shape distortion of the container. A wrap around label covers the vacuum panels and is supported by post walls surrounding the vacuum panels and a central panel wall in each panel. Vertical recessed ribs may be provided in the post walls to increase the longitudinal stiffness of the panel section.

The design of the vacuum panels may vary; two other designs are illustrated in: 1) U.S. Design Pat. No. 315,869 entitled "Container Body For Liquids Or The Like," which issued Apr. 2, 1991 to Collette; and 2) copending and commonly-owned U.S. patent Ser. No. 07/792,449 entitled "Modular Mold," which was filed Nov. 15, 1991 by Collette et al., each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

However, the previously described hot fill containers were designed for pouring, not squeezing. In fact, these typically large diameter bottles would permanently deform inwardly (buckle) if a user tried to push inwardly on the sidewall of the container to dispense the product by squeezing. Thus, the known PET hot fill containers have not been used as squeezable containers.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a squeezable plastic container with panels that resists permanent deformation or denting. More preferably, it is an object of this invention to provide a squeezable container which is hot fillable.

Summary of the Invention

The container of this invention is squeezable, without undergoing permanent deformation or denting, and preferably is able to receive a hot fill product without undergoing excessive shape distortion. The container includes flexible vertically elongated panels in the side wall of the container, and stiffer post walls around the panels. The panels include a recess around a raised central panel wall and a connecting wall between the recess and panel wall is stepped to provide resilience. The flexible panels bow inwardly when squeezed and readily return (bounce back) to their original position and shape when released.

Stiffening of the post walls around the panels is preferably achieved by providing substantially perpendicular junctions between the post wall and panel and by providing sufficient post depth (i.e., radial distance between the panel recess and post wall). In a preferred hot-fill embodiment, the stiff post walls prevent vacuum collapse of the container, while the multiple flex points and thin wall of the vacuum panels insure adequate movement under vacuum and enhance the flexibility and resilience (to prevent denting) of the panel section.

It is preferable to provide a recessed circumferential ring in the side wall of the container to further minimize any shape distortion caused by filling with a hot product. This ring prevents a cylindrical container from ovalizing, especially in the tapered shoulder section of the container.

Still further, vertically elongated ribs may be provided in the post wall to further stiffen the side wall against vacuum collapse.

In a specific embodiment, a squeezable hot-fill container comprises a hollow plastic body having a resilient cylindrical side wall with a plurality of symmetrical vacuum panels aligned along a vertical centerline, an open upper end, and a closed bottom wall. The side wall includes symmetrically-arranged post walls disposed a first distance D1 from the vertical centerline. The vacuum panels are disposed between the post walls and each vacuum panel includes a vertically elongated recess surrounding a raised central panel wall. The recess has a lowermost flex point which is disposed a second distance D2 from the vertical centerline which is less than the first distance D1 of the post wall. The central panel is disposed radially outwardly from the lowermost flex point and a first connecting wall between the lowermost flex point and panel wall is stepped to provide flexibility and resilience. Preferably, a second connecting wall between the lowermost flex point and post wall is also stepped. The preferred container is a blow molded biaxially-oriented container made of a thermoplastic resin, and in particular a polyester such as a homopolymer or copolymer of polyethylene terephthalate, and preferably the panel section has an average wall thickness on the order of about 0.015" (0.38 mm) to about 0.020" (0.51 mm). In a preferred small diameter (i.e., no more than about four inch) size container adapted to be squeezed in one hand, the average panel wall thickness is about 0.015 inches (0.38 mm) to about 0.017 inches (0.44 mm).

Further details of the invention are more specifically described by the following drawings and description of certain preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view, partially in section, of a preform for use in blow molding a container of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a blow molding apparatus in which the preform of FIG. 1 is expanded to form a container of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view, partially in section, of a first preferred embodiment of this invention which is a hot fill squeezable container.

FIG. 4 is a partial cross sectional view taken along section lines 4--4 of FIG. 3, showing the outwardly-concave circumferential ring between the shoulder section and panel section which increases the resistance to ovalizing.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view through the panel section of the container of FIG. 3 taken along section lines 5--5 of FIG. 3, sowing six equally sized and symmetrically arranged vacuum panels separated by post walls, and the relative angular extents and depths of the various vacuum panel portions.

FIG. 6 is a partial cross sectional view of one vacuum panel of the container of FIG. 3 showing in phantom lines the panel when flexed, and illustrating the action of the multiple flex points which allow ready squeezability and return to the original undeformed position.

FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional view of a comparative panel wall without the features of this invention, and which undergoes permanent deformation when squeezed.

FIG. 8 is a partial elevational view of an alternative embodiment of this invention, namely, a vacuum panel container having an additional stiffening rib in the post wall.

FIG. 9 is a partial cross sectional view taken along section lines 9--9 of FIG. 8 showing the additional stiffening rib.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A sectional panel view of a comparative PET hot-fill container is shown in FIG. 7. This comparative panel does not utilize the stepped wall construction of the present invention and undergoes permanent deformation when squeezed.

The comparative container of FIG. 7 has a side wall 201 with a vacuum panel 202 shown between a pair of post walls 208. The vacuum panel in its original (prior to squeezing) form is shown in solid lines as panel 202, and after squeezing in dashed lines as panel 203 which has undergone permanent deformation or denting. The panel includes a recess 204 having an outer connecting wall 205 adjacent the post wall 208 and an inner connecting wall 206 adjacent the raised central panel wall 207. The panel geometry and typical hot-fill wall thickness T' (e.g., 0.022 inches (0.56 mm)) create a stiff panel which "locks up" and remains permanently deformed when it passes over the dashed center line 209. Thus, although this comparative container may have the necessary thermal stability and vacuum resistance for use with hot-fill products, it cannot be used as a squeezable container because it undergoes permanent deformation when squeezed.

In accordance with this invention, a preferred hot-fill squeezable container 10 is provided as shown in FIG. 3. In this specific embodiment, the container is a 20-ounce, substantially transparent biaxially oriented PET beverage container which is about 7.87 inches (200 mm) in height (without the cap) and about 2.83 inches (72 mm) in outer diameter (at the panel section). The panel section 22 has been biaxially oriented and partially crystallized by being axially stretched and radially expanded in a blow mold, and has an average wall thickness of about 0.016 inches (0.41 mm). This is considerably thinner than the prior known hot-fill containers which have had a wall thickness of about 0.022 inches (0.56 mm) to 0.024 inches (0.62 mm).

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-2, the container 10 is blow molded from a cylindrical injection-molded preform 2 having an open top end 11 and neck finish 12. The preform has a tapered shoulder-forming portion 5, substantially uniform thickness panel forming portion 3, and a base-forming portion 4 including a substantially hemispherical bottom end. The preform 2 is amorphous and substantially transparent and preferably is made from a PET monomer or copolymer (e.g., up to about 6% copolymer). However, other materials and preform shapes can be used, including preforms with thickened base forming portions to provide a thicker container base having improved creep resistance, or preforms with variable wall thickness portions in the side wall if desired.

As shown in FIG. 2, the preform 2 is placed in a blow molding apparatus 96 having an upper mold section 96A which engages the neck finish 12, a middle mold section 96B having an interior cavity forming the shape of the container side wall, and a lower mold section 96C having an upper surface forming the outwardly concave dome portion of the container base. In accordance with a standard reheat stretch blow mold process, the injection-molded preform 2 is first reheated to a temperature suitable for stretching and orientation, placed in the blow mold, and an axial stretch rod 97 is then inserted into the open upper end 11 and moved downwardly to axially stretch the preform. Subsequently or simultaneously an expansion gas 90 is introduced into the interior of the preform to radially expand the shoulder, sidewall and base forming portions outwardly into contact with the interior surfaces of mold sections 96B and 96C.

As shown in FIGS. 2-3, the blown container has the same neck finish 12 with outer threads 13 and lowermost neck flange 14 as the preform. The remainder of the bottle has undergone expansion, although to varying degrees. An upper tapered shoulder portion 16 gradually increases in diameter and orientation while moving downwardly along the bottle. Next, a radially recessed circumferential ring 18 is provided between the shoulder section 16 and panel section 22 to prevent ovalizing. Below the ring 18 is a radially outwardly projecting upper bumper portion 20, and then a slightly recessed cylindrical panel section 22. Below the panel section is a radially outwardly projecting lower bumper 24, and then a champagne-style base 26. The base includes an outer base wall 28 gradually reducing in diameter moving downwardly from the upper bumper 24 to a lowermost contact radius 30 on which the bottle rests. Radially inwardly of the contact radius is a recessed inner base wall 32 or dome having a central gate region 34. The inner base wall or dome 32 may include a number of symmetrical recessed petaloid portions for increasing the thermal resistance of the base, as is known in the art. In general, the relatively low oriented base has a greater thickness for strength, while the panel section 22 has a relatively high orientation for strength.

The cylindrical panel section 22 includes six equally sized and symmetrically arranged recessed vacuum panels 50 disposed about a vertical centerline 8. Surrounding each vacuum panel are post walls 40, which include upper post wall 41, lower post wall 42, and median post wall 43. A label (not shown) is wrapped around panel section 22 and lies in substantially smooth contact with all portions 41, 42, 43 of the post wall, and may be adhesively attached to upper and lower post walls 41, 42.

As shown in FIG. 3, a removable cap 92 is attached to the open upper end of the container. The cap includes a base portion 95 having internal threads which engage the outer threads 13 on neck finish 12. At the upper end of the cap 92 is a sliding nozzle shown in a lowermost closed position 93 and an uppermost open position 94 (in dashed lines). When the panel section 22 of the container is squeezed between the user's fingers (see opposing force lines 91 in FIG. 3), the panel deflects inwardly (see dashed panel lines 23) and the liquid product in the container is pushed out the open upper nozzle 94 by the internal pressure generated by squeezing.

FIG. 4 shows in cross section the circumferential ring 18 disposed between the shoulder section 16 and upper bumper 20. The container side wall (outermost circumference) is disposed at a radial distance R1 from the vertical centerline 8. The ring 18 is recessed inwardly at a distance d1 from the outermost circumference. The ring 18 has a lowermost recess 19 of radius r1, outwardly expanding sidewall portions 21 which define an angle θ, and radiused junctions with the outermost circumference defined by radius r2. The specific dimensions, including the angular extent θ, depth (d1), and values of radiuses r1 and r2, are determined by the specific geometry and resin properties of the container. Preferably the ring depth is about 0.10R1 to about 0.24R1 (where R1 is the radius of the container) and the angular extent θ is about 45 to about 90. The lowermost recess preferably has a radius r1 of about 0.3d1 to about 0.7d1 and the connecting radius r2 is at least about 0.3d1.

As shown in FIG. 5, there are six symmetrical vacuum panels 50 disposed about the vertical centerline 8 of the container. FIG. 6 shows one of the vacuum panels 50, having a wall thickness T, and the manner in which it temporarily deforms when squeezed (dashed lines 23) and then returns to its substantially original undeformed position. The vacuum panel 50 lies between a pair of post walls 40 which are disposed at a distance D1 from the vertical centerline 8. The post walls 40 are at the greatest distance from the centerline of any portion of the panel section 22 (however, upper and lower bumpers 20 and 24 extend slightly outwardly from the panel section 22 to protect the label which is wrapped around the panel section).

Each post wall 40 has an angular extent 2B and each vacuum panel 50 has an angular extent 2F, such that the total combined angular extents of all post walls and vacuum panels, i.e., 6(2F+2B)=360 (the total panel circumference). Because there are six equal vacuum panels, the allowable angular extent 2A for each vacuum panel and its associated post wall is 60 (i.e., 3606=60). Preferably, each post wall has an angular extent 2B of about 12 to about 21 and each vacuum panel has an angular extent 2F of about 39 to about 48.

Each vacuum panel 50 includes a vertically elongated recess 52 with a lowermost flex point 53 at a distance D2 from vertical centerline 8, which is less than the distance D1 of post wall 40. The recess 52 surrounds a raised central panel wall 51, which is at a greater distance from the vertical centerline 8 than the distance D2. Preferably, each panel wall 51 has an angular extent 2C of about 12 to about 30. Preferably, the ratio of the panel height H (FIG. 3) to width (circumference) to insure ease of squeezability is at least about 2:1.

Recess 52 has a lowermost flex point 53 and intermediate stepped connecting walls joining the flex point 53 with central raised wall 51 and post wall 40. As best shown in FIG. 6, in going from lowermost flex point 53 to panel wall 51, there is a first connecting wall 58 having a first step 54, a second step 55, and a third step 56 disposed at radially increasing distances from the vertical centerline 8. In going from lowermost flex point 53 to post wall 40, there is a second connecting wall 60 having a first step 63 and second step 64 at radially increasing distances from the vertical centerline 8. These stepped walls form nine flex points, designated as 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73 and 74, and which, together with the thin panel wall, render the vacuum panels very flexible and resilient. The average panel wall thickness is preferably about 0.015 inches (0.28 mm) to about 0.020 inches (0.51 mm). The "average" thickness includes the central panel 51 and first and second connecting walls 58 and 60. Typically, the entire circumference of the side wall is of fairly uniform thickness, when a uniform thickness preform is used. However, in some cases it may be desirable to provide a thicker post wall 40 (e.g., by providing a variable thickness preform) for greater stiffness. Still further, the connecting walls 58, 60 may be made thinner than the central panel 51 for still greater flexability.

In order to counterbalance the flexibility provided by the thin wall and multiple flex points of the panel, it is necessary to stiffen the post walls 40 to provide the necessary resistance to vacuum deformation, while still providing a squeezable bottle which will not permanently dent when squeezed. To increase the post wall stiffness, there are preferably provided substantially perpendicular junctions between second step 64 and post wall 40, and between second step 64 and first step 63. These junctions preferably range from about 80 to about 100, and more preferably about 85 to about 95. Also, in order to insure sufficient stiffness in the post wall, the post depth (i.e., D1 -D2) is preferably about 0.08 inches (2 mm) to about 0.16 inches (4 mm), which corresponds to the radial depth of the second connecting wall.

FIGS. 8-9 show an alternative embodiment, wherein an additional vertically-elongated reinforcing rib 180 is provided to further stiffen the post walls. Alternative container 110 is substantially the same as previously defined container 10, and similar portions have been given similar number designations in the "100" series. Thus, container 110 has an upper bumper 120, lower bumper 124, and a panel section 122. Surrounding each vacuum panel 150 are post walls 140, including upper post wall 141, lower post wall 142, and median post walls 143. Down the center of each median post wall 143 is a vertically elongated and radially inwardly recessed rib 180. Again, each vacuum panel includes a lowermost flex point 153 and stepped connecting walls.

The present invention has applications beyond the illustrated beverage container with nozzle for use by athletes. More generally, the container may be used for any cosmetic, food, beverage, etc., product which requires a squeezable container with panels. The product may be pressurized, e.g., beer, or nonpressurized, e.g., juice. The container may be used with cold-fill products, wherein the stepped panel construction provides ready squeezability with "bounce back" to resist denting.

The container may be made in a variety of sizes (volume) and shapes (height and diameter). For example, one-gallon hot fill squeezable PET beverage container may have a six-inch diameter and an average panel wall thickness of about 0.017 inches (44 mm) to about 0.020 inches (51 mm).

The preferred thermoplastic resins useful for making a hot-fill container of this invention include polyester, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyacrylonitrile, polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene napthalene.

The preferred polyester resins are usually polyesters wherein more than 80 mol %, and preferably more than 90 mol % of the acid component is terephthalic acid and more than 80 mol %, and preferably more than 90 mol % of the glycol component is isophthalic acid (IPA), diphenylether 4,4'-dicarboxylic acid, naphthalene-1,4 or 2,6-dicarboxylic acid, adipic acid, sebasic acid, decane 1,10-dicarboxylic acid and hexahydroterephthalic acid. Examples of the residual qlycol component are propylene glycol, 1,4-butane diol, neopentyl glycol, diethylene glycol, cyclohexane dimethanol (CHDM), 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)- propane and 2,2-bis(4hydroxyethoxyphenyl)propane. Also available are polyester resins containing p-oxybenzoic acid, etc. as an oxyacid.

The intrinsic viscosity of these thermoplastic polyester resins is approximately 0.55 or more, preferably about 0.65 to about 1.4, and more preferably about 0.8 to about 0.9. When the intrinsic viscosity is less than 0.55, it is difficult to obtain a preform which is transparent and amorphous. In addition, the mechanical strength of the resulting container is not sufficient. Intrinsic viscosity measurements are made according to the procedure of ASTM D-2857, by employing 0.00500.0002 g/ml of the polymer in a solvent comprising o-chlorophenol (melting point 0 C.), at 30 C. Intrinsic viscosity (I.V.) is given by the formula:

I.V.=(1n(VSoln. /VSol.))/C

where:

VSoln. is the viscosity of the solution in any units;

VSol. is the viscosity of the solvent in the same units; and

C is the concentration in grams of polymer per 100 mls of solution.

PET copolymer resins useful in this invention are commercially available and include copolymers having 4-6% by total weight of a comonomer such as 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) and/or isophthalic acid (IPA). These materials are commercially available from Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee, and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio.

In making the preferred polyester container from an amorphous preform according to the reheat stretch blow process, a suitable stretching temperature range is about 70-130 C. It is advisable to stretch the preform about 2-4 times in an axial direction and about 3-5 times in a circumferential direction. A more preferable condition is 6-15 times in terms of a stretch ratio for area--and more preferably about 7-11 times in the panel section.

It may also be useful to provide a multi-layer preform, e.g., with one or more barrier layers, for a specific product which is degraded by oxygen, moisture, light, etc.

Although certain preferred embodiments of the invention have been specifically illustrated and described herein, it is to be understood that variations may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. Thus, all variations are to be considered as part of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US521501 *Nov 23, 1893Jun 19, 1894 Float
US1249606 *Mar 12, 1917Dec 11, 1917Standard Oil CoCorrugated metallic barrel.
US3335902 *Dec 28, 1964Aug 15, 1967Continental Can CoSuperimposed axial-circumferential beading of cans
US4387816 *Jan 18, 1982Jun 14, 1983Owens-Illinois, Inc.Collapse resistant container
US4512490 *May 3, 1982Apr 23, 1985Cantec, Inc.Strengthened can bodies of thin-walled metal
US4542029 *Feb 27, 1984Sep 17, 1985American Can CompanyVacuum, food packaging
US4749092 *Jul 27, 1987Jun 7, 1988Yoshino Kogyosho Co, Ltd.Saturated polyester resin bottle
US4805788 *Nov 19, 1987Feb 21, 1989Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Container having collapse panels with longitudinally extending ribs
US4805793 *Oct 23, 1987Feb 21, 1989Pioneer/Eclipse CorporationBlow molded container
US4818575 *Mar 2, 1987Apr 4, 1989Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd.Biaxially drawn polyester vessel having resistance to heat distortion and gas barrier properties and process for preparation thereof
US4863046 *Dec 24, 1987Sep 5, 1989Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.Hot fill container
US4877141 *Feb 16, 1988Oct 31, 1989Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Pressure resistant bottle-shaped container
US4946053 *Sep 15, 1989Aug 7, 1990General Electric CompanyOvalized label panel for round hot filled plastic containers
US4949861 *Nov 14, 1988Aug 21, 1990American National Can CompanyRectangular plastic container with panel support
US4993565 *Oct 26, 1987Feb 19, 1991Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Biaxial-orientation blow-molded bottle-shaped container having opposed recesses and grooves for stable gripping and anti-buckling stiffness
US5002199 *Jul 9, 1987Mar 26, 1991Reid Valve Company, Inc.Stackable bottle
US5005716 *Feb 7, 1990Apr 9, 1991Hoover Universal, Inc.Polyester container for hot fill liquids
US5010013 *Jun 2, 1988Apr 23, 1991In Vitro Scientific Products, Inc.Corrugated walls, drainage channels
US5054632 *Jul 23, 1990Oct 8, 1991Sewell Plastics, Inc.Hot fill container with enhanced label support
US5064081 *Mar 28, 1991Nov 12, 1991Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Pressure resistant polygonal bottle-shaped container having a polygonal bottom
US5092475 *Jun 28, 1991Mar 3, 1992Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.Reinforced and paneled hot fill container
US5126177 *Oct 28, 1991Jun 30, 1992Johnson Enterprises, Inc.Thermoplastic preform for blow molding a bottle with reinforcing ribs
US5141121 *Mar 18, 1991Aug 25, 1992Hoover Universal, Inc.Hot fill plastic container with invertible vacuum collapse surfaces in the hand grips
US5178289 *Feb 26, 1992Jan 12, 1993Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.Panel design for a hot-fillable container
US5178290 *Apr 24, 1991Jan 12, 1993Yoshino-Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Container having collapse panels with indentations and reinforcing ribs
US5238129 *Jun 3, 1992Aug 24, 1993Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Container having ribs and collapse panels
EP0155763A2 *Feb 14, 1985Sep 25, 1985Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Method of blow-moulding a biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate resin bottle-shaped container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5392937 *Sep 3, 1993Feb 28, 1995Graham Packaging CorporationFlex and grip panel structure for hot-fillable blow-molded container
US5413244 *May 4, 1994May 9, 1995Carnaudmetalbox PlcOpen-topped can body with panelled side walls
US5443766 *Sep 10, 1993Aug 22, 1995Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Multilayer; polyethylene naphthalate interior and barrier layer of polyethylene terephthalate
US5472105 *Oct 28, 1994Dec 5, 1995Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.Hot-fillable plastic container with end grip
US5651933 *May 10, 1995Jul 29, 1997Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Polyethylene naphthenate, polyethylene terephthalate
US5682931 *Jul 28, 1995Nov 4, 1997Munchkin, Inc.Baby feeding bottle
US5690244 *Dec 20, 1995Nov 25, 1997Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Blow molded container having paneled side wall
US5704503 *Oct 28, 1994Jan 6, 1998Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.Hot-fillable plastic container with tall and slender panel section
US5740934 *Mar 10, 1997Apr 21, 1998Plastic Technologies, Inc.Container with vertical stiffening in central panel
US5780130 *Dec 31, 1996Jul 14, 1998The Coca-Cola CompanyContainer and method of making container from polyethylene naphthalate and copolymers thereof
US5803290 *Aug 12, 1996Sep 8, 1998Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Plastic blow molded bottle having annular grip
US5804305 *May 10, 1995Sep 8, 1998Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Multi-layer preform used for plastic blow molding
US5888598 *Jul 23, 1996Mar 30, 1999The Coca-Cola CompanyPreform and bottle using pet/pen blends and copolymers
US5927533 *Jul 11, 1997Jul 27, 1999Pepsico, Inc.Pressured thermoplastic beverage containing bottle with finger gripping formations
US5971184 *Oct 28, 1997Oct 26, 1999Continental Pet Technologies, Inc.Hot-fillable plastic container with grippable body
US6044996 *Oct 11, 1996Apr 4, 2000Amcor LimitedHot fill container
US6074668 *Jan 9, 1998Jun 13, 2000Abbott LaboratoriesPolyethylene naphthalate container for sevoflurane
US6162443 *Dec 4, 1998Dec 19, 2000Abbott LaboratoriesInhalation anesthetic product comprising container constructed from a material containing one or more of polypropylene, polyethylene, and ionomeric resins; with a volume of sevoflurane in the container; storage stability
US6164474 *Nov 20, 1998Dec 26, 2000Crown Cork & Seal Technologies CorporationBottle with integrated grip portion
US6268026Oct 20, 1997Jul 31, 2001Hoechst Celanese CorporationAromatic liquid crystalline polymer
US6312772Oct 20, 1997Nov 6, 2001Hoechst Celanese CorporationMultilayer laminate formed from a substantially stretched non-molten wholly aromatic liquid crystalline polymer and non-polyester thermoplastic polymer
US6398052Oct 24, 2000Jun 4, 2002Crown Cork & Seal Technologies CorporationBottle with integrated grip portion
US6426128Jan 6, 1998Jul 30, 2002Hna Holdings, Inc.Co-processable multi-layer laminates for forming high strength, haze-free, transparent articles and methods of producing same
US6460714Apr 16, 1999Oct 8, 2002Schmalbach-Lubeca AgPasteurization panels for a plastic container
US6558679Dec 19, 2000May 6, 2003Abbott LaboratoriesContainer for an inhalation anesthetic
US6575320 *Jun 26, 2001Jun 10, 2003Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Bottle-type plastic container with vacuum absorption panels for hot-fill applications
US6575321Jan 22, 2002Jun 10, 2003Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.Container with integrated vacuum panel, logo and grip portion
US6662960Feb 5, 2001Dec 16, 2003Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Blow molded slender grippable bottle dome with flex panels
US6695162 *Jul 24, 2000Feb 24, 2004SidelPlastic bottle, having reinforcing means
US6698606Jun 4, 2002Mar 2, 2004Constar International, Inc.Hot-fillable container with grip
US6749075Mar 14, 2003Jun 15, 2004Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.Container with integrated grip portions
US6763969May 9, 2000Jul 20, 2004Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Blow molded bottle with unframed flex panels
US6779673Jul 17, 2002Aug 24, 2004Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Plastic container having an inverted active cage
US6814248 *Aug 8, 2002Nov 9, 2004Dtl Technology Limited PartnershipPlastics container with recessed handgrip features and associated method and apparatus for manufacture thereof
US6827228 *Aug 8, 2002Dec 7, 2004Pepsico., Inc.Plastic container with decorative recessed features and associated method and apparatus for manufacture thereof
US6837390May 21, 2001Jan 4, 2005Amcor LimitedHot-fillable, blow molded container
US6920992Feb 10, 2003Jul 26, 2005Amcor LimitedInverting vacuum panels for a plastic container
US6923334Oct 15, 2003Aug 2, 2005Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Blow molded slender grippable bottle having dome with flex panels
US6935525Feb 14, 2003Aug 30, 2005Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Container with flexible panels
US6938788Feb 25, 2003Sep 6, 2005Stokley-Van Camp, Inc.Squeezable beverage bottle
US7004342Mar 30, 2004Feb 28, 2006Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.Container with integrated vacuum panel, logo and/or recessed grip portion
US7073675Oct 10, 2003Jul 11, 2006Graham Packaging Company, B.B.Container with deflectable panels
US7080747 *Jan 13, 2004Jul 25, 2006Amcor LimitedLightweight container
US7097061Aug 14, 2003Aug 29, 2006Graham Packaging Pet Technologies Inc.Plastic container which is hot-fillable and/or having neck finish adapted for receipt of handle
US7137520Oct 12, 2000Nov 21, 2006David Murray MelroseContainer having pressure responsive panels
US7169418May 24, 2002Jan 30, 2007The Procter And Gamble Companya packaging system useful for packing fresh roast and ground coffee; a convenient, lightweight container that provides increased strength per mass unit of plastic for the transport of freshly roast and ground coffee
US7172087Sep 17, 2003Feb 6, 2007Graham Packaging Company, LpSqueezable container and method of manufacture
US7191910 *Dec 3, 2003Mar 20, 2007Amcor LimitedHot fillable container
US7198164Mar 31, 2004Apr 3, 2007Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Hot-fillable container with a waisted dome
US7350658Dec 15, 2005Apr 1, 2008Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.Rectangular plastic container
US7374055Dec 22, 2004May 20, 2008Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Container having controlled top load characteristics
US7377399Jun 6, 2005May 27, 2008Amcor LimitedInverting vacuum panels for a plastic container
US7458478Jan 17, 2007Dec 2, 2008Constar International Inc.Hot-fillable container with convex sidewall areas that deform under vacuum conditions
US7481325Jul 12, 2006Jan 27, 2009Graham Packaging Pet Technologies Inc.Molded plastic container having hot-fill panels
US7552834 *Nov 24, 2004Jun 30, 2009Yoshino Kogyosho Co., Ltd.Synthetic resin heat-resistant bottle type container
US7694842Sep 27, 2006Apr 13, 2010David Murray MelroseContainer having pressure responsive panels
US7740149Sep 27, 2002Jun 22, 2010Ropak CorporationContainer sidewall strengthening apparatus and methods
US7748551 *Feb 18, 2005Jul 6, 2010Ball CorporationHot fill container with restricted corner radius vacuum panels
US7748552Jul 16, 2007Jul 6, 2010Ball CorporationPlastic container with horizontally oriented panels
US7757874Jan 18, 2007Jul 20, 2010Ball CorporationFlex surface for hot-fillable bottle
US7810664Sep 29, 2006Oct 12, 2010Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Squeezable multi-panel plastic container with smooth panels
US7861876Sep 22, 2006Jan 4, 2011Ball CorporationBottle with intruding margin vacuum responsive panels
US7997099Jan 2, 2007Aug 16, 2011Cool Gear International, LlcMethod and system for use with a consumable beverage
US8047390 *Jul 13, 2007Nov 1, 2011Amcor LimitedContainer having vacuum panels
US8051674 *Mar 28, 2008Nov 8, 2011Cool Gear International, LlcMethod and system for use with a consumable beverage
US8061158Dec 30, 2006Nov 22, 2011Cool Gear International, LlcMethod and system for use with a consumable beverage
US8087525Sep 29, 2006Jan 3, 2012Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Multi-panel plastic container
US8186528Sep 30, 2005May 29, 2012Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Pressure container with differential vacuum panels
US8308006Jul 9, 2009Nov 13, 2012Amcor LimitedThin walled hot filled container
US8474638 *Jul 14, 2005Jul 2, 2013Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Plastic container
US8556098Dec 4, 2012Oct 15, 2013Niagara Bottling, LlcPlastic container having sidewall ribs with varying depth
US20100116778 *Apr 11, 2008May 13, 2010David Murray MelrosePressure container with differential vacuum panels
US20120097635 *Oct 20, 2010Apr 26, 2012Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Multi-serve hot fill type container having improved grippability
US20120267381 *Apr 23, 2012Oct 25, 2012Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Container
US20130186848 *Jul 26, 2011Jul 25, 2013Khs Corpoplast GmbhMethod for producing blow-molded containers and blow-molded container
US20130213984 *Feb 21, 2013Aug 22, 2013Dan GamberProduct evacuation rib
US20130256258 *Mar 26, 2013Oct 3, 2013Krones AgPlastic containers for carbonated liquids
EP0701181A2 *Sep 11, 1995Mar 13, 1996Canon Kabushiki KaishaToner bottle and manufacturing method therefor
EP0859718A1 *Oct 11, 1996Aug 26, 1998Amcor LimitedA hot fill container
EP1163161A1 *Feb 24, 2000Dec 19, 2001David Murray MelroseA container having pressure responsive panels
EP2698320A1Aug 16, 2012Feb 19, 2014La Seda De Barcelona S.A.Hot-fillable plastic container having vertical pillars and concave deformable sidewall panels
WO1997014617A1 *Oct 11, 1996Apr 24, 1997Amcor LtdA hot fill container
WO1997022527A1 *Dec 18, 1996Jun 26, 1997Plastipak Packaging IncBlow molded container having paneled side wall
WO1999021770A1Oct 28, 1998May 6, 1999Collette Wayne NHot-fillable plastic container with grippable body
WO2000068095A1 *May 9, 2000Nov 16, 2000Graham Packaging CoBlow molded bottle with unframed flex panels
WO2004014745A1 *Aug 7, 2003Feb 19, 2004Martin H BeckPlastic container with decorative recessed features and associated method and apparatus for manufacture thereof
WO2006124200A1 *Apr 25, 2006Nov 23, 2006Coca Cola CoInjection molded preform, stretch blow molded container and method for reducing the cycle time for making it
WO2008019440A1 *Aug 15, 2007Feb 21, 2008Amcor LtdA container
WO2014027027A1Aug 14, 2013Feb 20, 2014La Seda De Barcelona S.AHot-fillable plastic container having vertical pillars and concave deformable sidewall panels
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/381, 220/669, 215/383, 220/666, 220/675
International ClassificationB29C49/08, B65D1/02, B65D79/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S215/90, B65D1/0223, B65D79/005, B29C49/08, B65D2501/0027
European ClassificationB65D1/02D, B65D79/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 22, 2012ASAssignment
Effective date: 20120320
Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING PET TECHNOLOGIES INC.;REEL/FRAME:027910/0567
Owner name: THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, NEW YORK
Mar 20, 2012ASAssignment
Effective date: 20120320
Free format text: TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:REYNOLDS GROUP HOLDINGS INC.;REEL/FRAME:027895/0814
Owner name: GRAHAM PACKAGING PET TECHNOLOGIES INC., PENNSYLVAN
Sep 26, 2011ASAssignment
Effective date: 20110908
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING PET TECHNOLOGIES INC.;REEL/FRAME:026970/0739
Owner name: REYNOLDS GROUP HOLDINGS INC., NEW ZEALAND
Sep 8, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P., PENNSYLVANIA
Effective date: 20110908
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTERESTS;ASSIGNOR:DEUTSCHE BANK AG, GAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:027011/0572
Apr 10, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: PATENT RELEASE;ASSIGNOR:DEUTSCHE BANK AG, CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:019140/0509
Effective date: 20070330
Jul 10, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: GRAHAM PACKAGING PET TECHNOLOGIES INC., PENNSYLVAN
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CONTINENTAL PET TECHNOLOGIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018047/0970
Effective date: 20041012
Oct 13, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
Jan 6, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: DEUTSCHE BANK AG CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH AS SECOND-L
Free format text: GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:015552/0299
Effective date: 20041007
Owner name: DEUTSCHE BANK AG CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH, NEW JERSEY
Free format text: GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:015980/0213
Owner name: DEUTSCHE BANK AG CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH 90 HUDSON S
Free format text: GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P. /AR;REEL/FRAME:015980/0213
Free format text: GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY, L.P. /AR;REEL/FRAME:015552/0299
Oct 18, 2001FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Sep 12, 1997FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Feb 18, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: CONTINENTAL PET TECHNOLOGIES, INC., KENTUCKY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:KRISHNAKUMAR, SUPPAYAN M.;COLLETTE, WAYNE N.;PICCIOLI, DAVID P.;REEL/FRAME:006448/0541
Effective date: 19930129